Celebrate the colonial heritage of Texas in the vibrant city of San Antonio. From the famed River Walk to the humble Alamo, San Antonio surrounds you with warm hospitality and numerous attractions that both educate and entertain. Just steps from your vacation rental in San Antonio, you can marvel at the 750-foot Tower of the Americas, as well as meet up with local residents at a First Friday Art Walk in Hemisfair Park, which was the site of the 1968 World’s Fair. Check out some of the most exciting activities in San Antonio.

Source: Flickr/Stuart Seeger

1. San Antonio River Walk

Breathe in the fresh Texas air as you stroll along the paved and cypress-lined paths that meander over picturesque stone bridges and through lush, green scenery. Partake in a delicious al fresco meal at restaurants like Bourdro’s Texas Bistro, or shop for eclectic clothing at boutiques such as Villa Tesoros, then dance the night away at Howl at the Moon.

2. San Antonio Museum of Art

This museum’s comprehensive collection documents more than 5,000 years of worldwide culture and history. Once a brewery, this renovated building houses an impressive collection of Latin American, Asian, and Mediterranean art, as well as notable Oceanic art.

3. San Antonio Mission National Historic Park

The Catholic Church played an important part in the 18th century history of Texas. Four missions — the Conception, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada — were built as towns where Catholic missionaries attempted to convert Native Americans into Spanish citizens. Within the park is a mill that operated at Mission San Jose and a 10-mile-long Mission Riverwalk ideal for birding, walking, and biking.

4. The Alamo

This iconic representation of Texas history is where many important historical events took place, from colonization by the Spanish to the fight for independence from Mexico. The Alamo symbolizes the courage and sacrifice of men such as Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Travis who held out against the Mexican army for 13 days.

5. Main Plaza

This well-maintained public space in the heart of San Antonio is a wonderful place to picnic, stroll along shady walkways, or take a nap on a blanket beneath a huge canopy of leafy trees. The world-renowned San Fernando Cathedral — the largest in the country — is the centerpiece of the Plaza. Pick up locally grown produce at one of the bustling farmers markets, peruse collections of original art, and sway to the beat at live music concerts.

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6. Natural Bridge Caverns

A 60-foot slab of natural limestone, formed by the continuous dripping of a single drop of water over time, creates an amphitheater-style opening at the cavern’s entrance. Take the Hidden Passage Tour through a 5,000-square-foot outdoor maze, or zipline high above the caverns on the Canopy Challenge. Pan for gems, fossils, and other treasures just like the old-fashioned miners did, then head for Discovery Village for lunch.

7. San Antonio Botanical Gardens

Take in nature at its best as you stroll through fragrant rose gardens, perk up your sniffer at the sensory garden, marvel at the water-saving garden, and indulge in the beauty of the Kumamoto En Japanese Garden. Follow the 11-mile Texas Native Trail, where 250 plant species represent three ecosystems, then go through an underground tunnel of soil into the Palm House, a 20-foot cut in the earth.

8. San Antonio Zoo

Nestled into an old limestone quarry, this zoo is one of the first cageless zoos in the country. It has received numerous awards for its unique breeding program that has helped an endangered white rhinoceros to reproduce. Ride the historic miniature train, the San Antonio Zoo Eagle, to Brackenridge Park and along the San Antonio River, with stops at the Witte Museum, Kiddie Park, and the Japanese Tea Gardens.

9. The DoSeum Kid’s Museum

When traveling with children, change up the pace and take them to this fun-filled educational museum, one of the most popular attractions in San Antonio. You and the kids can have fun at the interactive puppet parade, take a math challenge at the spy academy, or climb through the ADA-accessible treehouse.

10. Morgan’s Wonderland

If you’re traveling with a special-needs companion or family member, this uniquely designed theme-park attraction is the perfect place to have a ton of fun. Enjoy wheelchair-accessible rides, including an antique carousel, a pirate-inspired playground, and catch-and-release fishing at the lake, then have lunch at one of the picnic tables located in the beautiful gardens.

11. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Over 500 animals from 40 species live on this ranch, with native habitats created as close to their own as possible. Take a rolling safari beneath live oaks and across creek beds to observe the native, exotic, and endangered animals without disturbing them.

12. Brackenridge Park

Go where the locals go to relax, play with the kids, and walk the dog. Established in 1899 on the banks of the San Antonio River, this wonderful park has pavilions where you can enjoy a picnic lunch. The park sports 2.8 miles of paths and a playground. Play golf on one of the oldest courses in Texas.

13. Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Gather the family and experience an unforgettable night at the Roadhouse Country show or the spectacular Lone Star Nights laser and fireworks display. Adventurous thrill-seekers get a kick out of riding the Rattler, the Goliath of roller coasters — or Batman: The Ride, the first 4D free-fly coaster in the world. Younger kids enjoy ZoomJets or the Buckarooz. When hunger strikes, head down the fairway for pizza, burgers, Mexican, or Asian foods.

14. River City Run

Vacation is no excuse for missing your workout. Explore San Antonio on a River City Run, a tour through the heart of the city that suits runners from all age groups and skill levels. Led by a tour guide, you can join the five-kilometer run every Saturday or Sunday. The pace is comfortable, with several stops along the way.

15. San Antonio Cruises

When you need a taxi along the River Walk, flag down a water taxi service barge that stops at 39 locations. You can also charter cruises, such as the romantic dinner cruise that features cocktails and appetizers served up by various River Walk restaurants.

 
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